App Review: Official Google Voice iPhone App

Google Voice for iPhone
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google_voice_iconAs a Google Voice user, I’ve followed the growing pains of Google getting one of their best products on the iPhone. Then a few months ago Apple changed some rules that allowed Google Voice clients into the app store. GV Mobile+ won my heart over, becoming my default phone app. Now Google has an official Google Voice app for the iPhone. Can it take its crown back?

The Rundown

App: Google Voice (iTunes Link) Price: Free Rating: B – It’s 80% of what every Google Voice user will need.
Google Voice for iPhone feels better than the web version in design and function.  After signing in, select your phone number of choice and you’re ready to go! The inbox is the default view and cannot be changed. Just a tap away are your voicemails, contacts, texts, and the dialer.  Annoyingly in inbox view is the ability to archive a message. To delete them, you’ll have to dig into the folder holding the message (history, voicemail, text). To refresh a view, simply pull down.

Accessing Contacts

Contacts work in a way that’s not optimal for the iPhone experience. Completely absent are any saved Google Voice contacts that you have. The app operates solely on the contacts in your iPhone. Adding a new contact in the app will only to your iPhone’s contacts (bummer, I know). Syncing isn’t in available this time around. Contacts are also searchable and not just by name. A quick dial option is provided in the Contacts pane for those of us with big address books. Tapping on a contact’s name in message view will give you quick access to actions like call, text, add to quick dial, and show contact. Because of the way contacts are handled, you can’t edit your them from the Contacts pane.  contact pane. Instead, you have to be in message view and select “show contact” to access the contact edit feature. Yikes!

Making Calls

In-app calls are pushed through to your native phone app. With GV Mobile+, it has to call me first, then reroute the call to the number I dialed. Voicemails are played within the app. Then can be set to play via the speakerphone or normally. You can also control each message view just like visual voicemail on the native Phone app.

SheGeeks Rated: B-

Overall, Google Voice Mobile for iPhone feels smooth and fast when moving between categories and accessing data. I wish I could change the default inbox folder and I’m annoyed by the lack of contact management in place. Push notifications alert you to all the other things going on. While it does its job, it doesn’t bring anything new or exciting to the table.
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  • http://gratefulveg.com Carl Black

    Thanks for this review, Corvida! I’d been in the habit of checking once daily to see if the official app had finally been approved, but I gave that up a couple of weeks ago. Now I’m excited to check this out. Having been an early user of the GV BlackBerry app, which had fairly tight integration, I’ve been frustrated with the clunky GV mobile site experience on iPhone since switching early this year. Hopefully this app will be consistently improved over the coming months!

  • http://twitter.com/tbaybu Té Baybute

    nothing beats the GV SMS Extension on cydia – send/receive sms from the normal iphone app (or your preferred sms app – bite for me). That said, i like the official app more than any others – and ive tried them all. But I’ve gotta think, how old is this – is this the same version that goog sumbitted over a year ago? and f so, what awesomeness can we expect to see in coming updates?

  • http://twitter.com/laurenthedark Lauren Cannon

    I searched for and downloaded this today without even realizing it was just released yesterday.

  • http://www.moldremoval.com Mold Testing

    Thanks for this review.

  • http://shegeeks.net/ Corvida Raven

    I have some issues with the official app dealing mainly with connection issues that I don’t experience with GV Mobile+.

    What more could Google Voice for iPhone do in the future? I know some folks are looking forward to voip support. I hope to see syncing of contacts between the web version and my iPhone. That way you can have a backup of contacts on both ends.

    What do you think?

  • http://shegeeks.net/ Corvida Raven

    :)

  • http://shegeeks.net/ Corvida Raven

    I hope so too Carl. To me, the mobile site feels clumsy on the iPhone. I replied to Te’s comment ^^ with my thoughts on what I’d like to see next. (Scroll up for the comment and my reply).

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